fisheries

Hoy/Scott Watershed Society Announces 2019 Executive

Voted in from left to right: Lilian Elliott, Director; Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; and Sandra Uno, Director. The four join the existing executive already serving terms: Rodney Lee, Vice President & Hatchery Manager; Emily Rossi, Secretary; and Kyle Uno, Treasurer.

Voted in from left to right: Lilian Elliott, Director; Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; and Sandra Uno, Director. The four join the existing executive already serving terms: Rodney Lee, Vice President & Hatchery Manager; Emily Rossi, Secretary; and Kyle Uno, Treasurer.

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society held an annual general meeting on May 15, 2019 at the Coquitlam City Centre library.

Congratulations to the new and returning executive. Voted in was:

President - Robbin Whachell
Director - Lilian Elliott
Director - Sandra Uno
Director - Lani Lehun

The fore-mentioned join existing executive already serving terms: Rodney Lee, Vice President/Hatchery Manager; Emily Rossi, Secretary; and Kyle Uno, Treasurer.

"Our team of dedicated volunteers are to be commended for their time spent in keeping this Society progressing in our initiatives,” said re-elected president Robbin Whachell.  “This is not the time to take things lightly when it comes to our salmon. As a city grows, the environment must be at the top of our priorities.”

The Society is always seeking new membership and assistance. To get involved check our sign up page; or email hoyscottwatershed@gmail.com.

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a year-round salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education, and preservation. Find us on Facebook.


Salmon Leave Home at Hoy Creek on Mother's Day

A young boy releases a coho smolt on the edge of Hoy Creek, while a volunteer assists and looks on - at Salmon Leave Home 2018. (Photo: HSWS)

A young boy releases a coho smolt on the edge of Hoy Creek, while a volunteer assists and looks on - at Salmon Leave Home 2018. (Photo: HSWS)

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society invites the community out for their annual Salmon Leave Home event on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam.  People of all ages will have the opportunity to help release 18-month-old coho smolts into Hoy Creek.

“Salmon Leave Home is a great way for families to connect with nature, and brings awareness to our delicate ecosystem, right here in Coquitlam,” said society president, Robbin Whachell.  “Once the salmon are released, they make their way downstream to Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, the Fraser River - which empties into the Strait of Georgia on the Pacific Ocean. They take about a year to get to the ocean, and then return in approximately 2 years to the same location where they were spawned.”  

The family-friendly free outdoor event will run rain or shine and the society will have families engaged in fishy fun. Students from the Pinetree Secondary community club will be providing face painting, and a family walk through the watershed is always beautiful at this time of year.

The event is a great opportunity to learn about the local fish hatchery and get information on the year-round volunteer-run salmon enhancement program, which includes work with plants in the riparian area of Hoy and Scott Creeks. 20,000 coho fry will also be on display.

The hatchery is located in the Hoy Creek Linear Park behind Douglas College and north of Guildford, a few minutes walk inland, and is only a ten-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas skytrain station.  To find the exact location, simply Google “Hoy Creek Hatchery.”

RSVP to the Facebook event page to receive updates and a reminder.


Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a year-round salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education and preservation.

Salmon Come Home to Focus on Watershed Protection

Salmon educator Chris Hamming

Salmon educator Chris Hamming

Enjoy the fall colours, celebrate the salmon, and learn about your environment at the twenty-sixth annual Salmon Come Home at Hoy Creek Hatchery on Sunday, Oct. 21.

Co-hosted by the City of Coquitlam and Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS), the free family event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with music, face painting, crafts, displays and conversation with local environmental groups, food, and Angela Brown's Nylon Zoo costume parades.

Fall is the time that salmon return to Hoy and Scott Creeks, and rain is an essential element that raises creek levels, allowing the salmon to swim upstream to the area they were born to complete their life-cycle, spawn and die. Prime viewing of returning salmon is usually from mid-October to early November.

“With no rain expected before the event, it may be unlikely that we’ll see salmon instream, however, this will not take away from the purpose of the event,” said Hoy-Scott Watershed Society president, Robbin Whachell, “that is to educate about the salmon and bring awareness to preserving our habitat to ensure its return in the years to come.”

Salmon educator and HSWS founding member, Chris Hamming will be on hand to offer interesting and fun facts on salmon, one of nature’s great wonders.  Hatchery tours will be conducted – the facility is home to 5000 young coho which will be released in May 2019. Hoy Creek is also home to wild baby salmon often visible in the shadows or seen under the bridge ways. Hoy Trail offers a beautiful walk featuring towering trees and active birdlife.

The hatchery is home to 5000 young coho which will be released in May 2019.

The hatchery is home to 5000 young coho which will be released in May 2019.

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Streamkeepers formed a society in 1992, with a mandate to promote watershed restoration and public awareness of the need to preserve the creek and surrounding habitat. With the support of the Department of Fisheries & Oceans, the society works to increase both coho and chum salmon populations.

A clear warm weather day is in the forecast for Oct. 21, however the event runs rain or shine.

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is in Hoy Creek Linear Park, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex (Pinetree and Guildford Way), and is a seven-minute walk from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station.

Visitors can walk in from a variety of locations: from Princess Crescent, from behind Douglas College; from Guildford Way (between Johnson and Pinetree), from Walton Avenue or behind Walton Elementary, or from the foot of Lasalle Place.

Free parking is available at Coquitlam City Hall, Pinetree Community Centre and Douglas College.

Receive a reminder by RSVPing to the event’s Facebook page, or go to hoyscottcreeks.org for more information.

It’s a beautiful time of year to explore Hoy Trail.

It’s a beautiful time of year to explore Hoy Trail.

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Hoy-Scott Watershed Society announces 2018 executive

Left to right: Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; Chris Hamming, Director; Kyle Uno, Treasurer; Sandra Uno, Director; and Rodney Lee, President. (Missing from photo: Emily Rossi and Arno Hazebroek)

Left to right: Robbin Whachell, President; Lani Lehun, Director; Chris Hamming, Director; Kyle Uno, Treasurer; Sandra Uno, Director; and Rodney Lee, President. (Missing from photo: Emily Rossi and Arno Hazebroek)

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society held an annual general meeting on May 15, 2018 at the Coquitlam library and voted in the following executive: 

Vice President - Rodney Lee
Director - Chris Hamming
Director - Sandra Uno
Director - Arno Hazebroek
Director - Lani Lehun

On June 19, Emily Rossi was voted in as secretary... 

"We have a great group of dedicated individuals on our executive, who volunteer their time to keep this Society going and progressing in our initiatives," said Robbin Whachell, the current president of the Society.  

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society, (HSWS) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run environmental stewardship group, that conducts a year-round salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We are actively involved in watershed restoration, public awareness, education, and preservation.

Annual adipose fin-clip held at Hoy Creek Hatchery

Hatchery manager Rodney Lee demos the adipose fin-clipping procedure as Tyler Thibault of the DFO looks on (center). 

Hatchery manager Rodney Lee demos the adipose fin-clipping procedure as Tyler Thibault of the DFO looks on (center). 

Close to 6000 coho salmon had their adipose fin clipped as part of a Department of Fisheries Canada encouraged exercise at Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam on June 20.  The salmon are approximately 6 months old. The adipose fin is a soft, fleshy fin found on the top of the salmon, on the back behind the dorsal fin and just forward of the caudal fin.

Although it's not mandatory, the DFO strongly advise hatcheries to clip the adipose fins for several reasons:

  • When salmon return to spawn, the clipped fins allow hatcheries to monitor their return
  • Most sports fisherman know that clipped coho can be kept, while wild coho must be returned
  • Clipped fish returns help DFO assess overall returns, helping to ensure the wild salmon are more dominant.
  • The procedure also allows for a manual fish count, whereas previously only weight sample counts took place. 
Everyone counts the fish they clip. Close to 6000 fish were processed. 

Everyone counts the fish they clip. Close to 6000 fish were processed. 

Overseen by DFO fisheries technician, Tyler Thibault, a group of about ten Hoy-Scott Watershed Society volunteers came out to help in the operation.  Hatchery manager, Rodney Lee explained the procedure to a few people who were clipping their first time. 

First, the fish are anesthetized in small batches. Once in the solution, they become sleepy within minutes. The volunteers stand ready around a table equipped with a trough with flowing water and beds of water for the fish to lay in. Volunteers work quickly and very carefully to clip fins with disinfected surgical scissors before they wake up, which is within about a minute. Fish are put into the outside trough and end up in the bucket at the end of the table. They are returned to the hatchery to recover. 

Fin clipping volunteers of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with Tyler Thibault of the DFO at Hoy Creek Hatchery. (Missing: Nathen Blower)

Fin clipping volunteers of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society with Tyler Thibault of the DFO at Hoy Creek Hatchery. (Missing: Nathen Blower)

The fish will soon be transferred from the hatchery Capilano trough room, and will live in the rearing pond until Salmon Leave Home in May 2019. Once they are released, they stay about a year in the stream making their way to the ocean. Fish from this brood could then return in about 2.5 years.

Thanks to all those who helped out this year!

(Watch our VIDEO below).

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) is a volunteer-run non-profit society that operates a small salmon hatchery beside Hoy Creek and conducts a salmon enhancement program in partnership with the City of Coquitlam, and with technical expertise from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The group stewards the Hoy and Scott Watersheds, promoting public awareness and education, and is involved in watershed habitat restoration and preservation. 

Coquitlam residents help release coho at Salmon Leave Home

A boy releases coho salmon under the guidance of a volunteer at Hoy Creek. 

A boy releases coho salmon under the guidance of a volunteer at Hoy Creek. 

The weather was perfect for our annual Salmon Leave Home event on May 6! Well over a thousand residents participated.

We'd like to thank everyone who came out to lend a hand and give their well wishes and good thoughts to our 5000 coho smolts who now make Hoy Creek their home.  The fish will now make the creeks, or the Coquitlam or Fraser rivers their home for about a year before making it to the ocean. 

Patrons of Salmon Leave Home listen to Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation at the opening of the annual event at Hoy Creek. 

Patrons of Salmon Leave Home listen to Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation at the opening of the annual event at Hoy Creek. 

A big thank you to special guests, the Kwikwetlem First Nation who provided comment during the opening ceremony and released our first fish into Hoy Creek. Thanks also to the Wild Salmon Caravan for providing entertainment and art activities. The kids loved painting the salmon van!  The Pinetree Secondary School students were a great help on site, and also provided face painting. 

The Wild Salmon Caravan served up fishy fun. 

The Wild Salmon Caravan served up fishy fun. 

CBC News came out to provide coverage of the event on the evening news that day. 

After the event closed, the rearing pond was cleaned out in preparation for the next broodstock which will make the location their home in June. The approximately 6-month old salmon will live there until the next Salmon Leave Home event in May 2019. 

To view our all of our photos of the event, check out our Facebook album. If you are not a Facebook user, we have a Google photo album too.

We'll see you at Salmon Come Home in October!

Fishy Fun at 2017 Salmon Leave Home

A mother and son peek at a coho fingerling held by a HSWS volunteer at Salmon Leave Home (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

A mother and son peek at a coho fingerling held by a HSWS volunteer at Salmon Leave Home (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

And they're gone!

Coho smolts that had their start in life at the Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam are well on their way to adapting to life in the stream.  Approximately 5000 smolts were released at Hoy-Scott Watershed Society's Salmon Leave Home event on May 7th.

When ready, they will make their way from Hoy Creek to Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, then to the Fraser River, and then on to the Straight of Georgia and the Pacific Ocean.

A father and son set to release coho smolts into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home on May 7th, 2017. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

A father and son set to release coho smolts into Hoy Creek during Salmon Leave Home on May 7th, 2017. (Photo: Robbin Whachell / HSWS)

The weather was perfect for the family fun free community event, and there was a steady flow of people throughout the day.  Patrons learned about the life-cycle of the salmon, viewed hatchery facilities, and had fun building bird boxes, getting face-painted, and doing fish-crafts.  Music was provided by 98.7 The Point radio. Watershed Watch Salmon Society was also on had with crafts for the kids and education for all. Jay Peachy honoured the Kwikwetlem First Nation traditional territory and delivered the "Salmon Song" accompanied by drumming.

The highlight of the day was the release of the smolts, as children of all ages delighted in carrying young salmon in buckets from the rearing pond a short distance to release them into Hoy Creek.

Face-painting, building bird boxes, and fish crafts...

Face-painting, building bird boxes, and fish crafts...

The society wishes to thank all of our hard working volunteers from Pinetree Secondary.

Over the summer things generally slow down at the hatchery, but volunteers still continue to oversee the care of some 25,000 coho fry, approximately 5 months old, who will be transferred into the rearing pond before June.

The bird box building station at Salmon Leave Home. 

The bird box building station at Salmon Leave Home. 

See ALL of our photos from Salmon Leave Home on our Facebook album HERE.

Work also continues in the riparian areas of the watershed to ensure invasive species are reduced and native plants are thriving. A healthy riparian area ensures a healthy creek.

In July or August the society also does a stream cleanup, removing trash and debris from Scott and Hoy Creeks. To get involved, click our "Get Involved" button, or email the Society at hoyscottwatershed@gmail.com

 

 

New Art Fixture Installed at Hoy Creek Hatchery

A new dragonfly metal art-piece is proudly displayed above the rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery contributed by local artist, Patricia Gaspar.  All three of the pieces here were created over the years by the same artist.

A new dragonfly metal art-piece is proudly displayed above the rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery contributed by local artist, Patricia Gaspar.  All three of the pieces here were created over the years by the same artist.

The local salmon hatchery in Coquitlam, nestled in Hoy Creek Linear Park and operated by the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society (HSWS) has just welcomed a new art piece by local artist, Patricia Gaspar.

The metal dragonfly was installed in time for Salmon Leave Home on May 7th.

The sparkling and bejeweled dragonfly is mounted above the rearing pond which houses coho from May to May of each year before they are released into Hoy Creek at Salmon Leave Home.

"We are so pleased to have yet another charming piece of artwork from Patricia on the hatchery grounds," said HSWS president Robbin Whachell.  "Patricia's artwork can be enjoyed by the entire community, and is in sync with our objective of bringing public awareness and education toward the restoration and preservation of our local habitat."

View other artwork at Hoy Creek Hatchery by Patricia Gaspar HERE.

The Hoy-Scott Watershed Society executive would highly recommend Patricia Gaspar for any art projects, in particular those that benefit the community.  Visit the artist's website HERE.

The rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam. Home to our coho salmon from May through May.  When grown to smolts, the salmon are released into the creek at Salmon Leave Home.

The rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery in Coquitlam. Home to our coho salmon from May through May.  When grown to smolts, the salmon are released into the creek at Salmon Leave Home.

The new dragonfly art piece by Patricia Gaspar, mounted above the rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery.

The new dragonfly art piece by Patricia Gaspar, mounted above the rearing pond at Hoy Creek Hatchery.

Salmon Leave Home to be held Sunday, May 7th

Poster-Salmon-Leave-Home-2017

Join the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society on Sunday, May 7th for Salmon Leave Home at the Hoy Creek Hatchery which is located in the woods behind Douglas College north of Guildford Way in Coquitlam.   Salmon Leave Home provides the community the opportunity to help release coho smolts into Hoy Creek.  The salmon are approximately 17 months old and can range in length from 4 to 8 inches. Since their incubation, they have been living in a freshwater stream environment at hatchery.

The annual event takes place from 11am to 2pm and will go 'rain or shine'.  Society volunteers will net and bucket the fish from the rearing pond, and children of all ages will carry the buckets a short distance to the creek to release the salmon.

From there, the smolts begin their journey to the sea via Hoy Creek, then Scott Creek, then Coquitlam River, then the Fraser River, and finally into the Strait of Georgia at the Pacific Ocean! 

This free family event will also offer educational activities, and music will be provided by 98.7 The Point.

The Hoy Creek Hatchery is located on Hoy Creek Trail, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex at the corner of Pinetree and Guildford Way.

Hoy Trail has a several entrances:
- Walk in from Princess Crescent;
- Walk in from behind Douglas College;
- Walk in from Guildford Way (between Johnson and Pinetree);
- Walk in from Walton Avenue, or behind Walton Elementary;
- Walk in from the foot of Lasalle Place.

To find the exact location simply Google, "Hoy Creek Hatchery."

Stay notified via our Facebook page and be sure to invite your family and friends!  Our event hashtag is #salmonleavehome, so if you attend, feel free to tweet or share, and check out what others are posting with our event hashtag.

(Photos from last year)

 

Hoy-Scott Watershed Society members release chum salmon fry

HSWS members met at dusk to release the chum salmon fry. Rodney Lee, hatchery manager (seen center) provides direction.

HSWS members met at dusk to release the chum salmon fry. Rodney Lee, hatchery manager (seen center) provides direction.

On March 19th, members of Hoy-Scott Watershed Society met near dusk at the Hoy Creek Hatchery to release 26,363 chum salmon fry.  This was an historic moment as the society has not raised chum salmon since the mid-90s. Fry were netted into buckets in the Capilano trough room, and hand carried to be released into Hoy Creek.  The process was led by hatchery manager, Rodney Lee.

"The 2016 brood stock season was super busy with our hatchery introducing a program to rear Chum salmon in addition to the Coho salmon that we've traditionally raised," said hatchery manager Rodney Lee. "The really warm October had creek temperatures in the 13C range which made for quick incubation early in the season, but then we had the really cold temperatures (creek temp lows under 3C) throughout much of the winter which really slowed development."

"We have approximately 12,000 Coho fry and the last alevins are beginning to 'swim up'.  We will be shutting down and cleaning out our incubators for the season."

"Our Coho fingerlings from the 2015 brood stock season have really started their Spring growth.  With water temperatures rising, their metabolism increases, and they eat at lot more and grow rapidly.  We are focusing on getting them to target release weight in anticipation of our Salmon Leave Home event on May 7th."

Photos were taken by society members: Nathen Blower, Lilian Elliott and Arno Hazebroek

See all our photos in our Facebook album HERE.